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Old 11-14-2003, 11:59 PM
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front end popping

I have a 78 El Camino that I bought used 2 years ago. The first thing I did was to replace the front end bushings and the ball-joints. I had a hell of a time getting the springs back in between the upper and lower A-frames. When I am in a parking lot and I turn the wheels sharps, the front end pops and the wheels feel like they are lopsided. Did I put something together wrong or is this normal???

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Old 11-15-2003, 07:29 AM
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Popping?

MAXX

Not sure as to what you mean by turning the wheel (sitting still or driving). You may want to check and see if you have the springs in their seats on the lower control arm and upper cup. This my give you the "feel" your getting.

I would also recheck the ball joints to make sure their tight. How long has it been since any front end work has been done?

With making the changes you have made, you may want to check out the tie-rod ends, idler arm, etc.

Good luck

Pappy
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Old 11-15-2003, 01:55 PM
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I agree with Pappy Maxx. Did you replace anything else while you had the front end apart? Do you have power or manual steering?
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Old 11-15-2003, 08:23 PM
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The only thing I replaced was the bushing in the upper and lower control arms (I had to take to a machine shop to have pressed in) and the ball joints. All the other bushings looked fine, and as far as I know the springs are seated right.
When I am in a parking lot (going slow) and I turn the wheels all the way in one direction, the wheels "wobble". I asked a guy down the street at a tire shop and he said all the old Chevy's did that, that the power steering box is actually over steering. It didn't sound right to me that's why I'm asking here.
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Old 11-15-2003, 08:24 PM
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Most factory coils should have a distinguishing mark on one end to designate from top and bottom. Also they need to set a particular way in their respective perches. Look in a Chilton, Haynes (Haynes can be picked up at your local AutoZone, Advanced, etc) One other thing to look at is the upper control arm. I had a similiar noise coming from my '62 after I had the front end rebuilt. What happened is that the upper control arm bolts were not tightened and had backed off. Every time I turned the corner the upper control arm was moving in and out. When I drove it straight the arm was tight against the bolts so I did not notice it. After laying over the front fender for about an hour wondering what was causing the noise, I saw the shims were all gone. Take your time, don't get frustrated, but go all thru the front end where you replaced parts and make sure everything is tight. Keep your fingers crossed it's not the springs.

Check this out:

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1, 2 and 3

A coil spring compressor should be used for safety during removal and installation. This tool can usually be rented at tool rental shops.


Raise and support the front of the vehicle using jackstands at the frame so the control arms hang free.
Disconnect the lower shock absorber mounting bolts and push the shock upward into the spring. If necessary for ease of tool installation, remove the upper mounting nut, then remove the shock from the vehicle.
Disconnect the stabilizer bar.
Support the inner end of the control arm using tool No. J-23028 and a floor jack.
Raise the jack enough to take the tension off the lower control arm pivot bolts.
Install a spring compressor tool for safety. If a tool is unavailable, loosely install a chain around the spring and through the lower control arm to keep the spring from suddenly releasing and flying out from the mount under pressure.
Fig. 1: When removing a coil spring using a compressor tool, always make sure the tool lock is in position and secured




Remove the rear pivot bolt first, then the front pivot bolt from the control arm. Note the direction which the bolts are facing for installation purposes.
Cautiously lower the jack until all spring tension is released. If a spring compressor tool is used, the tool will keep the spring under compression.
Note the position in which the spring is installed in relation to the drain holes in the control arm, then remove the spring from the vehicle.
If the spring is to be replaced and it is retained by a spring compressor tool, follow the tool manufacturer's instructions to slowly release the spring tension. With the tension eased, remove the spring from the tool.
To install:

If a spring compression tool is being used, install the new spring to the tool and carefully compress it for installation.
Fig. 2: Spring compressed in a tool and ready for installation


Fig. 3: Coil spring positioning and installation-mid to late 1980's shown


Position the spring to the lower control arm as noted during removal. Make sure that at least part of 1 drain hole is uncovered once the spring is positioned. If no compressor tool is being used, chain the spring to the control arm for safety.
Carefully raise the control arm using the jack and fixture until the spring is compressed (no tool being used) and the control arm us properly positioned.
Install the pivot bolts in the direction noted during removal, but do not fully tighten at this time.
Remove the chain or compressor tool, then lower and remove the jack.
Connect the stabilizer bar. If removed, install the upper shock absorber mounting nut, then secure the bottom of the shock absorber to the control arm.
Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
If there is insufficient clearance in order to access and tighten the lower control arm pivot bolts, raise and support the car on ramps. If ramps are not available, use jackstands under the control arms so the suspension is compressed.


With the vehicle's weight supported by the suspension, tighten the control arm pivot fasteners. Tighten the bolts to 85 ft. lbs. (115 Nm) for vehicles through 1973, to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm) for 1974-77 vehicles or to 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm) for 1978 and later vehicles.


Here is another link you may want to check out Right Here

Kevin

Last edited by Kevin45; 11-15-2003 at 08:40 PM.
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